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Wendy Gladney

Upland, CA

The official date of passing the baton to Los Angeles’ first woman mayor and also the first woman of color is
December 12 th . The road to this hallowed office had many twists and turns. She defeated billionaire developer
Rick Caruso who spent $100 million of his own money on his bid to be mayor. Despite his 10-to-1 spending
advantage over Karen Bass the voice of the people was heard loud and clear and ultimately prevailed. During
her first press conference as mayor elect at the Ebell Women’s Club, she made it clear that no matter whether
you voted for her or not, she would be the mayor for all the people. It is her desire to unite the people of Los
Angeles and work on eradicating the homeless issue, making housing more affordable, lowering the crime rate,
raising the quality of life for all Angelenos and ending racism and corruption at city hall.
I have had the honor of knowing and working with the honorable Karen Bass for over two decades. What I know
about her is, she is even tempered, emotionally intelligent, highly ethical and a woman of her word. Madam
Mayor’s civic experience and political expertise was forged from being a community activist and a fighter of
crime and poverty in South Los Angles. She is one of the co-founders of Community Coalition, a former California
State Assemblymember, a member of Congress and was on President Joe Biden’s shortlist of vice-presidential
candidates. Her background as a physician assistant helps her better understand the importance of providing
quality health care to all citizens. When I had the privilege and the pleasure to work with Karen Bass at
Community Coalition she was always hands on and had an open-door policy whenever I and others needed to
speak with her. I believe as the mayor she will continue with the same accessibility and availability. It will be
necessary for citizens of all races, creeds, and colors to support her and her staff to ensure the changes and
progress that is needed happens. Even for those of us that do not live inside the city limits of Los Angeles we
can still stand with her because success in Los Angeles can have a positive overflow into other cities throughout
Southern California and possibly the nation.
I believe her leadership will continue to open doors for women in various positions. Although she is not the first
African American female mayor of a major city in our country, the number is still low. Other African American
women mayors include Kim Janey of Boston, Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., LaToya Cantrell of New
Orleans, Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Vi Lyles of Charlotte North Carolina, London Breed of San Francisco,
Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, and Tishaura Jones of St. Louis to name a few, but Karen Bass is our local sheroe.
I pray God’s richest blessings on everything she puts her hands on and her administration. Something was once
said, no matter what office or title any of us has the privilege to obtain, it is ultimately what we do with that
power that defines who we are and what our legacy will be. Time will show us what our first female mayor’s
legacy will be, but I am very optimistic that it will be impactful.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.

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